WVU President Gordon Gee Says College Football Playoff Expansion Is 'on Life Support'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 26, 2021

University of West Virginia President Gordon Gee speaks to reporters after the College Football Playoff presidents group meeting Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Grapevine, Texas. The CFP presidents group met to discuss a proposed plan to expand the postseason format from four to 12 teams. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
AP Photo/LM Otero

West Virginia president Gordon Gee is no longer in favor of expanding the College Football Playoff to 12 teams.

During an interview with the West Virginia student newspaper the Daily Athenaeum (h/t Andrea Adelson of ESPN), the member of the CFP board of managers said he was once "a strong advocate for the 12-team playoff" but changed his mind because of the instability of the college football landscape.

"I am now no longer because I think with this changing environment, we want to keep it very narrow and keep it so there is a lot of opportunity to reconfigure what we’re doing in athletics," he said.

He continued, saying, "I think it is on life support now. I have one of the votes and I think it nearly needs to be unanimous and I’m not voting for it. I think the Big Ten will not vote for it and the Pac 12 will probably not vote for it either."

Adelson noted the CFP board of managers is scheduled to meet Sept. 28. Gee, who was formerly the president of Ohio State and Vanderbilt, is one of 11 presidents and chancellors in the group.

Adelson also pointed out that Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren recently said during a conference call they are supportive of the idea of playoff expansion but want to discuss more details.

This comes with the college football landscape undergoing some changes this offseason.

The SEC turned heads by adding Oklahoma and Texas for 2025, and the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 announced an alliance that will feature a "scheduling component" and could see the conferences stick together on proposals for playoff expansion down the line.

It should be noted that West Virginia's Big 12 conference is in a difficult situation.

Texas and Oklahoma are the two historical powerhouses in the league and on the way out, and the Big 12 was not included in the alliance between the other three non-SEC power conferences. The uncertainty about the conference's position could have an impact on Gee's opinion.

For now, the CFP remains at four teams, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the typical programs of Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma and Notre Dame competing for those spots again in 2021.